Manipulating safe locks can be fun
and profitable! It also takes practice. I recently bought a used safe combination dial lock and mounted it to a piece of reclaimed wood. Mounting a dial lock involves threading the dial spline bolt through the combination wheels, and then hammering a soft, brass "spline key" into the spline's notch so that the dial will turn the wheels.
My lock came without a spline key, so I searched around the house for some brass to use. I found a spent bullet cartridge casing, and attacked it with a rotary tool cutoff wheel to get a sliver of brass.
After sanding off the rough edges, I folded it over to the proper thickness to fit snugly in the threaded spline.
One solid blow with a deadblow hammer, and the soft brass wedged in place. The dial now turns beautifully.
I'll be bringing this and some other cutaway locks to Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder, where I'll be teaching lock picking workshops, so if you're attending, please come check it out.
Lisa Butterworth of Etsy interviewed me about my new book, Maker Dad.
As a dad who’s done these projects with your daughters, what would you tell other dads about what they might get out of making things with their kids based on your own experience?
One thing I think they’ll get is patience. It’s going to take a lot longer to do a project than if you just take over and do it yourself. You have to hand the tools over to the kids and realize that they’re going to make cuts that aren’t straight, drill holes in the wrong places, be sloppier with the paint than you might be, but that’s just part of learning. You’re also going to learn that they want to try, they have their own ideas about how things should look that might not match yours. But that’s a good thing, I think, and it’s going to also teach kids compromise and bargaining. You get the whole operation.
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Chris Yates is a polymath. A sculptor, artist, woodworker, cartoonist, entrepreneur, dog-kennel assembler, musician, and more. He's best known now for his handmade jigsaw puzzles. He's on the show to talk about his zigzag path to making a niche for himself.
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You too can turn an old sweater into a comfy pair of swants! West Knits has a "Swants Tutorial." (Thanks, Brad Smith!)
This animated gif of a chain-making machine is mesmerizing.
Click to see animated GIF
Over at the Information Daily, my Institute for the Future (IFTF) colleague Jason Tester wrote about "Maker Cities," a concept that IFTF is currently exploring through on-the ground ethnography and a forthcoming forecasting game, created with BB's legendary developer Dean Putney! Jason writes:
The DIY ethos of making isn’t limited to creating physical objects—stuff. Makers are starting to reimagine the systems that surround the world around them. That is, they are bringing the “maker mindset” to the complex urban challenges of health, education, food, and even citizenship.
Makers are coming together in civic innovation hackathons to prototype new forms of citizen-led governance. Makers experimenting with new forms of community launched what would become the sharing economy, establishing new ways to measure and create value in local economies. And needing capital to make their ideas real, makers were the earliest adopters of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Crowdfunding raised an estimated $2.8 billion in 2012 to fund projects, and new specialized sites like neighbor.ly and Fundrise focus on group fundraising for municipal projects like building parks or upgrading failing infrastructure.
This last space of civic crowdfunding points to a common thread found in many of these broader examples of making—the systems being remade are often rooted in cities.
"Citizens Will Make the Future of Cities
" (Information Daily)
Maker Cities game (IFTF)
(image: "Lego Chicago City View 2001" by Otto Normalverbraucher)